Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies

Baby it’s cold outside! The second of two storms is currently battering the southern half of the British Isles. While gale force winds and squally showers are battering outside, baking makes indoors warm and cosy. Especially when the aroma of these Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies escapes from the oven. A brilliant and tasty way to warm up the day.

FF Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies
Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies a deliciously warming treat.

Since discovering Sugar and Crumbs gingerbread flavour icing sugar, I have become a little obsessed with all things ginger flavoured. Wanting to create a winter spiced brownie, I decided to substitute the flavoured icing sugar for some of the treacly dark sugar in the recipe. Having been sent some Dark Chocolate Ginger Thins from Beech’s Chocolates, to try, I couldn’t resist adding some to the brownie batter. Resulting in a deep, dark chocolate brownie with a background warmth from the gingerbread sugar and nuggets of ginger chocolate studded throughout.

FF Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies
Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies perfect for sharing.

While not as dense, or fudgey as regular gingerbread and brownies, these squares are perfect as they are. Bordering on cake-like, yet not light and fluffy, these squares tick all the boxes. Sweet, but not overly so. Chocolatey, yet not cloying. Warming, without being overwhelming. Perfectly balanced flavours that satisfy with every bite.

FF Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies

    Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies a delicious comforting treat.

So easy to make and bake, these brownies also make a delicious edible gift. Ensure the icing is set, then pop a few into a pretty tin, or cellophane bag tied with ribbon. All food tastes better when shared. Homemade treats have the extra luxury of love mixed into them. Now that is something that cannot be bought!

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies makes 15

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter

225g/8oz Dark Brown Muscavado Sugar

50g/2oz Gingerbread Icing Sugar available from Sugar and Crumbs see *note

1/8tsp Salt – I use Maldon

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder – I use Callebaut

150g/5oz Plain White Flour

1/2tsp Sodium Bicarbonate

4 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

100g/4oz Dark Chocolate Ginger Thins – available from Beech’s Fine Chocolates

*note – if flavoured icing sugar is unavailable use 275g/10oz of D/B Muscavado sugar and add 2tsp of ground ginger to the sieved flour.

For the icing:

100g/4oz Gingerbread Flavour Icing Sugar – if not available use plain icing sugar.

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4

You will need a 28cm x 20cm x 5cm (12″ x 8″ x “2) traybake tin lined with aluminium foil.

  • First add the butter, both types of sugar and salt to a heavy bottomed large saucepan. Place over a medium heat and stir constantly until the butter is melted.
  • Take the pan off the heat and add the cocoa powder, stirring until it is thoroughly combined. Set the saucepan to one side to cool slightly.
  • While the pan is cooling, crack the eggs into a jug, add the vanilla extract and whisk lightly to combine – liquid ingredients.
  • Next sift the flour and sodium bicarb. into the saucepan. Stir to combine. The mixture will be quite stiff, that is normal.
  • Now pour the liquid ingredients into the saucepan and stir thoroughly until the brownie batter is thoroughly combined.
  • Roughly chop the ginger chocolate and add to the saucepan. Stir a couple of times to distribute evenly.
  • Finally pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin. Give the tin a couple of sharp raps against the work top. This will bring any bubbles to the surface.
FF Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies
Making the brownie batter and filling the tin.
  • Place the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Halfway through the baking time, open the oven door and rap the tin against the shelf. This really helps to stop the brownies becoming too airy and cake-like.
  • The brownies are baked when the top is set and there is not hint of wobble in the centre.
  • Once baked, remove the tin from the oven and allow the brownies to completely cool in the tin.
FF Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies
Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies baked and cooling in the tin.
  • While the brownies are cooling, make the gingerbread icing.
  • First, sift the icing sugar into a medium sized bowl, then add a teaspoon of water. Stir, adding extra water, drop by drop, until you have a thick, drizzling consistency.
  • Spoon the icing into a small piping bag. Alternatively, cover the bowl with cling film and you can use a spoon to drizzle the icing.
  • When the brownies are completely cooled, lift the entire slab from the tin, using the foil to help. Peel the foil carefully away from the baked brownie and place on to a large piece of baking parchment. Now cut the brownie into 15 equal sized squares. First cutting across the width, diving into 3 and then cutting across at 5 equal intervals to create 15 individual brownie squares. Spread the squares out so that each one can be iced individually.
  • Next, snip the end from your piping bag to leave a very small hole. Pipe diagonal lines across each brownie, or lightly drizzle the icing using a teaspoon.
FF Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies
Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies finished with piped icing.

Leave the icing to set before serving, or storing in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

FF Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies
Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies the piped icing gives them a professional finish.

These Brownies are delicious served just as they are, with a hot drink and a smile. However, if you really want to turn them into a fantastic dessert, warm briefly (10 seconds in the microwave) and serve with a scoop of you favourite ice cream!

If you have enjoyed these Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies then you may like these too:

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

FF Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

FF Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

Chocolate Sparkle Cake

FF Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies
Chocolate Sparkle Cake

Whether you bake these Dark Chocolate Ginger Brownies as a treat for yourself and you family, or to take into school or work to share with friends, they are sure to be a big hit. Homemade bakes taste infinitely better, unless you live close to a great bakery. Sharing our bakes shows others that they are valued in our lives. Regardless of their situation, someone has thought of them. I personally, cannot think of a better reason to get in the kitchen and bake!

Whatever you are creating, making and baking in your kitchen, have fun and remember to stir some extra love in.

Sammie xx

Beech’s Chocolates sent me the dark chocolate ginger thins to try. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions, views, photographs and content are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes

Is anyone else else excited about Christmas? For me a large part of the fun of Christmas is in the build up. Getting the children to write Christmas lists, putting up decorations and ordering our turkey and ham from Graig Farm. Finally making the Christmas cake, yet knowing it can’t be eaten until Christmas Day is always hard on certain members of the family. So, I baked these Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes. Perfect festive sweet treats to enjoy, during the build up to the big day!

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes perfect for sharing.

The frosting on these cupcakes is truly addictive. It really, REALLY, tastes of gingerbread. So, in order to provide balance, the cupcake itself is only lightly spiced. The combination of both cake and frosting is absolutely perfect. Warming, sweet and not heavy, these really are the perfect treat.

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes delicious warming flavours.

Because these cupcakes are so yummy, they disappeared very quickly. Always a good sign when everyone in the family absolutely loves them. I have a feeling that making these may well become a Christmas tradition like so many other things have, in our home.

Traditions include, decorations going up on December 1st, making mince pies then giving them to our neighbours whilst carol singing and cooking the ham on Christmas Eve. Also, tracking Santa Claus’ schedule, whilst munching on cheese straws and playing cards, have all become Christmas traditions. Each as important as putting out a drink, mince pie and carrot, before bed, on the night before Christmas.

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes easy to make.

Each of the traditions has crept upon us, unplanned. If something has been done two years in a row, the children automatically dictate that it is now a tradition. This year I think I will make some Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes to hand out whilst carol singing, alongside the warm mince pies. We are blessed to call our neighbours friends, so sharing homemade goodies with them, whilst they listen to our singing is always fun!

Do you have family traditions at Christmas? I’d love to hear about them.

Recipe: Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes makes 12

For the cupcakes:

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter softened

175g/6oz Caster Sugar

1/8tsp Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

3 Large Free Range Eggs

175g/6oz Plain White Flour

2tsp Baking Powder

1tsp Ground Ginger

For the frosting:

500g/1lb 2oz Gingerbread Natural Flavoured Icing Sugar from Sugar and Crumbs

250g/9oz Unsalted Butter softened

2tbsp Very Hot Water

Mini Gingerbread Men and White Edible Glitter to decorate both available online

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3

  • First, line a cupcake tin with 12 deep cupcake/muffin cases
  • Next, in a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk, gradually increasing the speed, until pale and creamy.
  • Now add the vanilla extract and whisk until fully incorporated.
  • Into the bowl add the eggs and sift in the flour, baking powder and ground ginger. Then mix together until just combined. Over mixing can result in a tough, not light and airy, cupcake.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the cupcake cases, taking care to ensure that they are evenly filled.
  • Place the tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Once baked each cupcake will spring back from a light touch. The cupcakes will be soft and fairly pale, this is because they have been cooked at a low heat to ensure a flat top.
  • Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven. Carefully take each cupcake out of the tin and place on a cooling rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before icing.

Making the frosting and decorating the cupcakes:

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Making, baking and decorating the cupcakes.
  • To make the icing; place the softened butter into a large bowl and sift the icing sugar on top of it. Next add 2 tablespoons of very hot water from a recently boiled kettle. Whisk, starting on a very slow speed and gradually increasing to a high speed. Continue until the icing is very light and creamy.
  • Fit an icing bag with a Wilton round piping tip #12, or use a large disposable piping bag. Fill the bag with the whipped, gingerbread frosting. If using a disposable bag without a tip, snip off the end to leave a 7mm diameter hole – approximately.
  • Check the cupcakes to ensure they are completely cooled, then begin piping the frosting. Keeping an even pressure on the bag pipe a double swirl. One on top of the other, pressing down in the centre before pulling away at the end.
  • Continue piping until all of the cupcakes are frosted.
  • Place a gingerbread man or woman in the centre of the frosting.
  • Finally, finish by sprinkling each cupcake with a dusting of edible glitter.
FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes pretty delicious.

Store the cupcakes in an airtight container. They will keep for up to 4 days, however, you’ll be lucky if they last that long, unless you hide them 😉.

Serve each cupcake with a smile.

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes light, moist cake topped with whipped buttercream.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes here are some other festive recipe you may like:

Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cookies

Sparkling Snowflake Cake

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Sparkling Snowflake Cake

Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies

FF Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes
Cream Cheese Pastry Mince Pies

 

While it is nice enjoying the build up to Christmas Day, the excitement of children, unexpected guests, the hope of snow, it is also important to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

A baby boy, born of a virgin mother, Emmanuel – God with us. Jesus may not have been born on December 25th, yet that is the day we choose to remember His birth. Amongst all of the hustle and bustle surrounding Christmas, it is important to remember why we celebrate it. Please see Important Stuff for more information.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchen, have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

Note – this is not a sponsored post. I genuinely love Sugar and Crumbs products.

 

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Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup

Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup easy to make and delicious to eat.

Autumn is well and truly here. Golden and red leaves, flutter like confetti to the ground. The perfect time of year for walks in the park or woods. Also, it is the season for fungi and mushrooms. If you go foraging, whilst out on a walk, make sure you have a guide, or book, to ensure you only pick what is edible. The mushrooms for this Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup came from the supermarket where they are available all year round.

FF Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup
Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup full of goodness and flavour.

Being able to buy mushrooms all year round means that this soup can also be made whenever you want. Since this soup is incredibly easy to make and completely delicious, you may find yourself making it year round!

FF Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup
Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup perfect with rustic wholemeal bread.

While I used white, button mushrooms for this recipe, chestnut, or portobello would also taste delicious. Sautéing the mushrooms slowly, ensures that they release their deep, earthy flavour. As a result, the finished soup has a rich mushroom flavour, that is not heavy. Sneaking in a potato not only thickens the soup, it also gives it beautiful creamy texture too.

FF Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup
Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup add a splash of cream if you dare 😉

Ok so I added a swirl of cream, just to see what it would add to this soup. While it does add an extra luxurious note, perfect for special occasions, or dinner parties, the soup doesn’t need it. For example in my Leek and Potato Soup the cream really rounds out the flavour and texture. Whereas here, with the mushroom soup, the creaminess is already present.

If you want to add a swirl of cream, I won’t judge!

FF Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup
Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup so full of healthy flavour.

Full of flavour and texture, an immersion blender is used to ‘cream’ this soup. Rather than whizzing the soup to a completely smooth consistency, very small chunks are left in to give a better, more interesting texture. However, you may purée the soup to whatever consistency you desire. That’s the beauty of making good, homemade food.

Recipe: Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup serves 4 people

1 Leek washed and trimmed

1tbs Butter – alternatively you may use olive oil

300g Mushrooms

1 Medium Sized Floury Potato

1 Vegetable/Chicken Stock Cube – I use Knorr

1L Very Hot Water – from a kettle

1/4tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

Method:

  • First, place a heavy bottomed soup pan on to the hob, over a medium heat. Now add the butter.
  • While the butter is melting chop the leek into a medium dice – approximately 1cm pieces.
  • Once the butter has melted add the chopped leek to the pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes until they become soft.
  • Meanwhile slice the mushrooms and then cut the slices in half.
  • Next add the sliced mushrooms to the softened leeks.
  • Lower the heat slightly and continue to cook the mushrooms and leeks for a further 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.
  • Peel and medium dice the potato, then add it to the saucepan.
  • Now add 1 litre of very hot water, from the kettle and a stock cube. Stir, put on the lid and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
FF Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup
Preparing the soup.
  • After simmering for 30 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Make sure you are wearing an apron for the next step. I speak from soup splattered experience!
  • Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it is almost smooth. One of the benefits of using this method to blend soup is, it allows you to feel, as well as see, how smooth the soup is. Also, if you do not have an immersion blender, a standard blender will still blend the soup well. Take care not to overfill the blender and allow the soup to cool slightly before using this method.
  • Check the soup for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

To serve, warm the soup and serve with thick chunks of rustic bread.

FF Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup
Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup a delicious way to warm up!

Each mouthful of this soup is a treat to your tastebuds. Perfectly balanced flavour that is nutritious and delicious.

This soup will keep, cool and place into an airtight container, keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for my Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup you may also like these other healthy and low fat soup recipes:

Carrot Soup

FF Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup
Carrot Soup garnished with crumbled Stilton cheese.

Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

FF Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup
Roast Chicken Noodle Soup an economic meal.

Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup

FF Creamy Low Fat Mushroom Soup
Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup warm and comforting.

Homemade soup is so easy to make. Also, the reward, far outweighs the minimum effort needed to prepare and cook the soup. Delicious, good for you and incredibly soothing on cough ravaged, sore throats, which seem in abundance at this time of year. While eating this soup, you can almost feel it doing you good.

Do you have a favourite soup recipe?  Please let me know as I love new ideas, old ideas, any ideas that taste great!

Have fun, making, baking and creating, in your kitchens.

Sammie xx

 

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Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake

Baking for someone I love has to be one of my favourite things to do. Especially when the recipient is my wonderful Father-in-law. Even more so when it is to celebrate his birthday. Usually I make him a Coffee and Walnut Cake, however, this year I’ve kept all of his favourite flavours and baked them into this beautiful Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake.

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake perfect for a celebration.

Baked in the Heritage Bundt tin from Nordic Ware, this cake is literally a twist on a classic, popular cake. The distinct mould of the tin creates this incredible, swirl shaped coffee cake, which is defined with the maple syrup icing. Resulting in a stunningly outstanding cake.

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake mesmerising.

An incredibly moist and delicious cake, that includes walnuts, it is also lump free. Chopping the walnuts very finely ensures their nutty flavour mixes well with the coffee and spices. The maple syrup icing adds another layer of flavour. Resulting in a light, not heavy sponge, that tastes fantastic.

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake full of flavour.

My Father-in-law is a very special and incredibly talented man. Much loved and respected, I consider myself to be very blessed to be part of his family. A wonderful Dad and Grandad, with a gentle sense of humour. Most of all, our children love to hear stories of his past adventures which span many centuries. A particular favourite being of his time as a Pirate!!

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake dazzling.

No candles are needed to light up this dazzlingly, delicious cake.

Recipe: Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake serves 10-12

250g/9oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature

250g/9oz Soft Light Brown Sugar

1/4tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

2tsp Camp Coffee or 1.5tsp Instant Coffee – dissolved in 1tsp water

5 Large Free Range Eggs

100g/4oz Plain Natural Yoghurt

75g/3oz Walnut Halves or pieces – chopped or processed until they are very fine. Similar in texture to ground almonds

1/4tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg

1/4tsp Cinnamon

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

150g/5oz Icing Sugar

3tbsp Maple Syrup – I like Pure Maple

White, silver or golden sprinkles

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3.

Note: I always use Wilton cake release to guarantee a clean, sharp edged finish. Apply using a soft pastry brush, taking care to ensure every part of the Bundt tin is evenly covered. Alternately brush on melted butter in the same manner, followed by a light coating of flour.

  • First of all, prepare the Bundt tin as per the instructions above.
  • Whisk the softened butter, sugar and salt together in a large bowl for at least 5 minutes. The mixture should be light and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and the eggs to the bowl. Continue whisking until all of the ingredients are well mixed.
  • Now add the yoghurt, but do not stir.
  • Next add the finely chopped walnuts, then sift in the flour, baking powder and spices.
  • Using a metal spoon, fold all of the ingredients together until they are fully combined.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared Bundt tin, pressing down to ensure the tin does not have any air gaps. Smooth the top of the batter.
  • Place the Bundt tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes.
  • To test if the cake is fully baked, insert a wooden skewer. The cake is baked when the skewer comes out clean. Also the cake should spring back from a light touch and have shrunk away from the sides of the Bundt tin.
  • Once baked remove the cake from the oven. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes.
  • Finally, turn the Bundt cake out on to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before icing.
FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Filling the tin, baking and turning out the Bundt Cake.

Making the icing and decorating the cake:

  • First, sift the icing sugar into a bowl.
  • Add the maple syrup and stir well. Then add up to one tablespoon of cold, tap water. Stir well so that the icing is a smooth, fairly thick consistency.
  • Fill a small, disposable piping bag with the maple syrup icing.
  • To ice the cake, first place the cooling rack over a large baking tray. This will allow any excess icing to drip through.
  • Snip the very end of the piping bag off, leaving a 3-4mm hole.
  • With the cake in front of you, follow the line of one swirl and pipe the icing along it. Double back on yourself, piping over the original line to ensure an even finish.
  • Continue in the same manner until all of the swirls have been iced.
  • Finish the decoration by adding sprinkles on top of the icing. Start at the bottom and finish approximately two thirds of the way up the cake. Most importantly, make sure the sprinkles all finish at the same point.
FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
First the icing, then add the sprinkles.

To serve, place the cake on to a plate or cake stand. Since I do not have a cake lifter, two palette knives, positioned either side of the cake, make easy work of moving the cake.

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake ready to serve.

No waiting needed! As the icing sets pretty quickly, simply slice and serve, with a smile. Especially if you are baking this for a celebration. As has been said, a celebration without a cake is simply a meeting 😉.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake then you may also like these:

Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake

Boozy Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

FF Maple Syrup Iced Coffee Bundt Cake
Boozy Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

 

While shop bought cakes may be convenient, nothing compares to the taste of a home baked one. Since supermarkets cannot bake love into a cake, they simply cannot compete. Most of all, when made with love and given with a smile, homemade cakes are unique gift.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing a feast. Finally, remember that food tastes better when it is shared.

Sammie xx

 

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Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes

Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes stunningly detailed, individual portions of deliciousness.

Some days you have to bake love into your day. Whether that means actually getting in the kitchen and physically baking, or metaphorically adjusting yourself – literally putting on love. Today, as the results of the 2016 United States of America presidential election were revealed, I had to do both. First of all, I had to pray, give all my fears to God and accept His peace, then I made myself bake. More specifically, bake these Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes.

FF Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes
Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes stunning individual cakes.

Oh these cakes are so good. Since making these cupcakes , I’ve wanted to try another red velvet recipe. Having recently bought the tiered heart mini Bundt pan from Sugar and Crumbs and considering the shock I, along with many others were in this morning, it seemed the perfect tin to use. A visual reminder that pure love always overcomes fear, no matter how frightened we may become.

Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes
Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes 3 tiers of love in a cake.

Perfectly detailed, these tiered heart cakes taste ridiculously good. If you are in a bad mood these cakes will cheer you up. Their deep chocolate flavour, in a rich, fudgey cake, pairs beautifully with fresh berries. Truthfully the red, white and blue theme was planned. Representing the colours of the American flag and what their constitution stands for. Whilst praying, baking and then photographing these cakes, I could feel the worry and fear lift from me.

FF Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes
Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes such a deliciously elegant dessert.

The relief of being able to hand over my worries and fears to our Awesome Heavenly Father is immeasurable. To know that He abides by His written word, which states in 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out all fear…

Recipe: Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes makes 12

Note: To grease the individual cake moulds I recommend Wilton cake release.

150g/5oz Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature

150g/5oz Caster Sugar

1/8tsp Salt – I use Maldon

2 Large Free Range Eggs

150g/5oz Sour Cream

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

150g/5oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Cocoa Powder

2tsp Baking Powder

1/4tsp Red Food Colouring Gel – I use Wilton

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3.

  • First of all, it is important to prepare the Bundt pan correctly. Spray or pour cake release into each mould. Use a pastry brush to ensure every part of the cake mould is covered. Because this mould is very detailed, it needs care taking over this stage.
  • Next, into a large bowl add the sugar, butter and salt. Whisk/beat these ingredients together until they are pale and creamy. This is known as the ‘creaming’ method.
  • Next add the eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract and food colouring. Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder.
  • Using a spoon or electric whisk, mix all of the ingredients together until they are thoroughly combined. This is know as the ‘all in one’ method.
  • To fill the individual cake moulds, carefully spoon the red velvet cake batter into the mould so that it is three quarters full. Continue until all six moulds are equally filled.
  • Now place the Bundt pan in the centre of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • The cakes are baked when they spring back from a light touch, alternatively insert a wooden cocktail stick (so that it doesn’t damage the pan) and if it come out clean the cakes are done.
  • Once baked, remove the cake pan from the oven.
FF Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes
Preparing, Filling and baking the cakes.
  • Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning them out on to a cooling rack.
FF Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes
Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes turned out on to a rack to cool.

While allowing to cool you could make some Boozy Berry Sauce, to serve with these cakes. Alternatively some fresh berries and whipped cream, turn these pretty cakes into a stunning dessert. Also a light dusting with icing sugar shows up these cakes incredible detail.

FF Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes
A sprinkling of icing sugar brings out the detail of these cakes.
FF Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes
An elegant and enticing dessert.

A truly tasty recipe that is versatile!

If you have enjoyed these Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes you may also like these:

Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes

FF Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes
Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes.

Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes

FF Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes

Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes

FF Red Velvet Mini Tiered Heart Cakes
Mini Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cakes – tip if you aren’t able to get the cake mix, use the recipe from the tiered heart cakes leaving out the food colouring.

 

Finally, change can be unsettling for everyone. Interestingly, in the bible, the words “do not fear” and “fear not” feature very frequently. Jesus did not come to promise us a life that was all plain sailing. Clearly not! He knew there would be circumstances and situations that would cause us to worry. The key is to hand that anxiety to Him in prayer and in turn accept His Peace, which surpasses our understanding.

Ultimately, not worrying, is, in my experience an active ongoing experience. Rather like forgiveness, sometimes we have to keep forgiving, likewise we also need to continue to hand all things to God in prayer. Giving thanks for all He has brought us through and trusting Him to see us through again.

If you would like to know more about my Christian faith please see Important Stuff.

Sammie xx

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Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne

Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne bubbling, gooey, pungent cheese.

Do you like cheese? Then you will love this rich, melted Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne, perfect for dipping, dunking and feasting on.

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne with homemade breadsticks, apple and chicory.

When asked by Pong Cheese to bake this heady Epoisses De Bourgogne, I knew that I would need my hubby’s help. First, I needed a hand model and also I absolutely knew he would relish the taste of this incredible cheese. A semi-soft to soft, pasteurised cow’s cheese, washed in Marc De Bourgogne, creating a spicy, pungent cheese. Most importantly, this incredible cheese is only made in the Burgundy region of France and therefore has an AOC – authentication of origin certificate.

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne breaking through into the molten cheese.

Homemade breadsticks break through the crust to reveal the warm, bubbling, unctuous cheese below. The full taste is revealed when eaten with bread. Salty, spicy and pungent, any cheese lovers dream.

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne with bitter chicory.

Chicory, with it’s crunch and slightly bitter flavour is a perfect accompaniment to the melted cheese. While sweet, red apple provides contrast to the saltiness of the cheese. This for me was my favourite flavour pairing, my husband preferring the full flavour of the cheese, unhindered by the breadsticks.

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne irresistible.

While, this is hardly a recipe, the method and increased flavour of the cheese, means it is extremely worthwhile taking the extra step to bake it.

Recipe: Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne

250g Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne available from Pong Cheese

Sprig of rosemary  – Optional

Breadsticks, chicory, apple, pear, crackers for dunking

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4

You will need an ovenproof dish that is about the same size as the Epoisses. A Camembert dish will be fine, any bigger and the cheese will spread as it bakes.

  • First, remove all of the packaging from the Epoisses.
  • Next place the whole cheese into the ovenproof dish, laying a sprig of rosemary on the top.
  • Now place the ovenproof dish on to a baking tray and place in the middle of the preheated oven.
  • Bake the cheese for 15 minutes, or until you can see it bubbling around the side of the dish.
  • Once baked remove the baking tray, with the bubbling cheese in its dish, from the oven.
  • Allow the cheese to sit for a couple of minutes as it will be extremely hot.

Serve the cheese in its dish with a selection of fresh fruit, vegetables and bread or crackers. Most of all share with good company and an excellent glass of wine!

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Baked and ready for enjoying.

Sharing this baked cheese, either with a group of friends, or with the one that you love, infinitely improves the whole experience of eating it. Since memories are created and observations exchanged, whilst feasting together.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne you may also like these:

Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Bath Soft Cheese Chilli Tarts an ideal appetiser or light lunch.

Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Goddess Cheese Pine Nut Muffins glorious flavour & texture.

Mini Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Tarts

FF Baked Whole Epoisses De Bourgogne
Mini Sparkenhoe Red Leicester Tarts a delicious canapé.

Cheese is such a versatile ingredient. Whether baked and eaten as is, piled on top of chilli pickle in a crunchy filo tart, or simply eaten cold with crackers, it remains one of my favourite ingredients. As with most things that have a relatively high fat content, their flavour truly comes alive when heated. Baking the Epoisses De Bourgogne certainly brought all of its delicious and interesting flavours to the fore.

Do you enjoy using cheese as an ingredient?

Have fun baking, making and creating in your kitchens, preparing a feast.

Sammie xx

Pong Cheese supplied me with the Epoisses De Bourgogne for this recipe. All opinions, views, photographs and content are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes

Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes fresh apple filled cupcakes, topped with light, dreamy, buttercream and drizzled with maple syrup.

National Apple Day was yesterday here in the U.K. With two trees, groaning under the weight of their abundant harvest, in our back garden, an apple bake was a must. Recently having received a sample of Real Maple Syrup, the idea for these Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes formed. The finished result was better than I could have ever predicted.

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes perfectly complimenting flavours.

One apple tree produces Spartan apples. Tennis ball sized, shiny red apples that are deliciously crunchy and sweet. The variety of the other apple tree is unknown. Slightly sharper, the apples resemble a slightly sweeter version of Granny Smiths in taste, yet with a red/green colouring. Fortunately, both apples are great for eating and cooking. Resulting in a combination of both being used for these cupcakes.

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes one bite and you lose yourself in a taste sensation.

Grating the apples into the cake batter ensured they didn’t brown too much. Unlike Granny Smith apples, both of the varieties I used brown easily when sliced/grated and exposed to the air. While the grated apple could have been tossed in some fresh lemon juice, which would have prevented discolouration, I didn’t want to do this for two reasons. First, the lemon flavour would have been present in the cupcakes, this could have overpowered the apple and frosting. Finally, the lemon juice would have added moisture, resulting in a wetter batter, where the apple may not have kept it’s even distribution.

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes even better the next day!

Preparing the cake batter first and then adding the grated batter worked well. Each cupcake had plenty of evenly distributed apple and had a light, moist crumb. Without the maple syrup frosting, these could easily be served as muffins, in which case the addition of some toasted pecan or walnut pieces would bring added flavour and texture. Having tasted these cupcakes with the dreamy frosting I could not possibly eat them any other way now!

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes just a hint of cinnamon takes this to another level.

Maple syrup frosting. Just think on those words for a moment!

Initially I had worried that the addition of maple syrup to a buttercream frosting would result in a too sweet topping. Instead, the opposite happened, with the maple syrup adding a very slight smoky, creamy flavour. Resulting in the sweetness of the unflavoured frosting being dumbed down. As a result, the final flavour paired beautifully with the lightly spiced apple cupcake.

Recipe: Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes – makes 12

Cupcake Ingredients:

175g/6oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature

175g/6oz Soft Light Brown Sugar

1/8th tsp Salt – I use Maldon

3 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

200g/7oz Plain White Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

1/2tsp Cinnamon

200g/7oz Grated Eating Apple – approximately 3-4 peeled apples

Frosting Ingredients:

250g/9oz Salted Butter very soft, ideally removed from the fridge the night before

500g/1lb 2oz Sifted Icing Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract

2tbsp Maple Syrup – use real maple syrup not maple syrup flavouring

1tbsp Very Hot Water from a recently boiled kettle

Extra Maple Syrup to drizzle over the finished cupcakes

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4

  • First line a 12 hole deep muffin tin with tulip cupcake wrappers, or deep muffin cases.
  • Next in a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk/beat them together until they are very pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and all 3 eggs to the bowl. Whisk/beat briefly to partially mix the ingredients, without the risk of them curdling – no more than 30 seconds.
  • Now sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into the bowl. Set the bowl to one side.
  • Working quickly, yet carefully, peel and grate 200 grams of apple.
  • Add the grated apple on top of the flour, in the large bowl and using a spoon mix all the ingredients together, until they are just combined.
  • Next, using a dessert spoon, place a heaped spoonful of cake batter into each of the cupcake wrappers. Finish by dividing any remaining batter between the twelve cases, so that they are all equally filled.
  • Finally place the tin in the middle of the preheated oven and bake the cupcakes for 25-35 minutes.
  • The cupcakes are baked when they spring back from a light touch. Use an inserted skewer to check if they are baked, if it comes out clean they are ready to remove from the oven.
  • Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven and leave them in the tin to fully cool, regardless of which type of wrapper/case has been used.
FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
The stages of making the cupcake batter, through to filling and baking them.
  • Allow the cupcakes to fully cool before frosting them.

Making the Frosting and Decorating the Cupcakes:

  • First, add the very soft butter to a large bowl.
  • Then sift the icing sugar into the bowl.
  • Next add the vanilla extract, maple syrup and very hot water.
  • Finally whisk the ingredients, starting slowly and increasing in speed, until you have a smooth, creamy, light buttercream.
  • Fit a large piping bag with a large star piping nozzle – Wilton #1M.
  • Fill the piping bag with the maple syrup frosting.
  • Starting in the centre of each cupcake pipe swirls, so that the entire top of the cupcake is covered and then, continue to pipe, bringing the tip back to the centre and finishing with a star, as the nozzle is pulled away.
  • Continue piping until each cupcake is generously topped with frosting.
  • To finish the decoration, drizzle approximately 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup on to the top of the frosting, allowing the drizzle to drip around the frosting swirls.
FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes ready to be served.

Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes a taste of Autumn in a cupcake!

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Fresh apple filled cupcakes topped with whipped maple syrup buttercream.

These cupcakes certainly make the most of seasonal fruit. Since there are plenty of apples freely available they will be made again. Another reason to bake them is also so they can be shared. While none of our friends or neighbours expect deliveries of cake, it is an extra special way of sharing our abundance of apples, which are also given away.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for these Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes you may also like these:

Autumn Apple Almond Cake

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Autumn Almond Apple Cake gluten free

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake

Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

FF Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes
Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

Because I find baking and cooking relaxing, creating new recipes can also be very rewarding. Firstly as a personal achievement and also because of the pleasure my baking brings to others. Faces full of pleasure as they bite into a delicious treat, big smiles when a friend receives a birthday bake and gracious thanks from a busy, tired family upon receipt of a homemade lasagne. Life is for sharing and if my small contribution encourages others to do the same, well then, this blog, Feasting is Fun, will have served its purpose.

Do you share your makes and bakes?

Sammie xx

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake moist, spiced pumpkin cake, packed full of chocolate chips.

The leaves are finally starting to change colour, during a gusty breeze they flutter through the air, landing on the ground, blown into crunchy, golden piles. Autumn feels like it has arrived and with it the need to snuggle under soft blankets, whilst watching telly on a chilly evenings. Warming, comforting food is also required. Gone are the salads of summer, soups, stews and puddings taking their place. Baking this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake fills the house with pumpkin spice scent, welcoming all who come home after a busy day at work or school.

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake utterly delicious.

As the days become increasingly colder, what better than warm pumpkin spices combined with chocolate chips in a moist pumpkin cake, to make you feel ready to tackle the rest of the day?  Sliced and wrapped, this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake is perfect for packed lunches. While at school or work, the taste and warmth of home can be with us, wherever we are.

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake gorgeous autumnal colours.

Creating this loaf cake was a real triumph. Successfully combining pumpkin, pumpkin spices and chocolate into a tasty, moist, healthier cake. Since loaf cakes are so much easier to cut, wrap and pack to go, this has been a huge hit here, especially with hubby. You may therefore see more loaf cakes appearing on Feasting is Fun.

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake packed full of milk chocolate chips.

Starting with the recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Walnut Muffins, while delicious, I wanted to add chocolate chips and increase the size of the bake. Because I wanted a cake that was full of flavour, skimping on the chocolate chips was not an option. Deciding to hold back one third to top the cake with, ensured that this cake also looked appetising

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake serves 8-10

125g Unsalted Butter melted and cooled plus 1tbsp extra for greasing the loaf tin

3 Large Free Range Eggs

200g Pumpkin Purée

200g Natural Yoghurt – I use full fat Yeo Valley

125g Plain White Flour

150g Wholemeal Flour

3tsp Baking Powder

175g Soft Light Brown Sugar

150g Milk Chocolate Chips or Chunks – I use Callebaut

1/4tsp Salt -I use Maldon

2.5tsp Pumpkin Spice

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4

A loaf tin that measures 25cm x 11.5cm x 7.5cm (10″ x 4.5″ x 3″) approximately, is needed for this recipe. Grease the tin with butter and line the base with baking parchment.

  • First weigh and melt the butter. Then pour the butter into a separate, medium sized bowl or jug to cool.
  • While the butter is cooling assemble the dry ingredients. In a large bowl add the plain and wholemeal flour together with the baking powder.
  • Next add the sugar, salt and pumpkin spice to the flour. Use a balloon whisk to mix the dry ingredients thoroughly, ensuring any clumps of sugar are broken up. Finally add 100g of chocolate chips and set the bowl to one side.
  • Now check the melted butter, it should be just warm. Add the eggs, yoghurt and pumpkin purée. Use a fork to break up the eggs and lightly whisk all the wet ingredients together until they are combined.
  • With both bowls in front of you make a well in the centre of the larger bowl containing the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and then stir with a spoon until everything is just combined. Over mixing will result in a heavy cake.
  • Now spoon the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake batter into the loaf tin, then add the remaining chocolate chips evenly on to the top of the cake.
FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake ready for the oven.
  • Place the loaf tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Once the cake is fully baked remove it from the oven.
  • Place the loaf tin on a trivet or cooling rack and allow the cake to fully cool in the tin.
FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake cooling in the tin.
  • When fully cooled run a palette knife around the edges of the cake. Turn the cake out of the tin and carefully remove the baking parchment from the base of the cake.
FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake serve with a hot drink and a smile.

Since this cake is so delicious, it is perfect for sharing. Invite friends round for a coffee morning and I guarantee that this cake will be a hit. It is also ideal to serve with frothy hot chocolate after a family walk on a chilly day out. Food shared tastes infinitely better, because it is a shared experience that creates memories.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake you may also like these:

Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Baked Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

FF Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf Cake
Double Cherry Drizzle Oat Bars

Baking for others can be a very rewarding experience, especially if you enjoy baking and sharing. The gift of a cake, shows the recipient that they have been thought of and most of all, are cared about. As a result of a little fore thought and preparation, it is really possible to make someone’s day.

While baking, making and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

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Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake

Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake a delightful fruit cake with fresh lemon and sherry. Perfect for any celebration, or afternoon tea.

It was our son’s 14th birthday yesterday. He loves everything about celebrating his birthday, from blowing up balloons, hanging fairy lights, presents, cards, seeing family. Yet the thing he most looks forward to is his birthday cake. Not being a huge fan of icing, yet loving Christmas cake, after much discussion he decided on this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake topped with crunchy whole almonds.

Since he would happily eat Christmas cake every single day, this seemed to be a good compromise. Rather than soaking the dried fruit in an alcoholic concoction, as is needed for Christmas cake, this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake is easily made in one day. Much as I love making Christmas cake, usually with our son’s help, having it throughout the year, would make it less of a special event.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake packed full of flavour and dried fruits.

Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake is a lighter fruit cake, filled with raisins, sultanas and in this recipe, glacé cherries. Recipes differ and I’m unsure as to how authentic their addition is. In our home their presence in any fruit cake is a must. Should you disagree, simply leave them out and add more dried fruit.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake perfect for any celebration.

The beauty of having a fruit cake without spices, is that the other flavours in the cake come through really well. On taking my first bite the freshness of the lemon added to the warmth of the sherry, creating a deliciously moist cake. While the cherries and fruit add to the overall flavour, the almonds, in contrast, provide a delightful crunchy topping. Resulting in a perfectly balanced cake, both in flavour and texture.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake perfect for those who don’t like icing on their cake.

One firework candle was lit in the centre of this cake, providing a spectacular display that had our son enthralled. Once cut, his pleasure was clear to see. While devouring his first slice he had a big smile on his face. Thoroughly pleased with this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake for his birthday, this was most definitely a hit.  Most importantly, our son thoroughly enjoyed his birthday, it was indeed a true celebration.

Recipe: Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake serves 10-12

225g/8oz Unsalted Butter plus 1tbsp – at room temperature

225g/8oz Soft Light Brown Sugar I use – Billington’s

1/4tsp Salt I use – Maldon

1tsp Vanilla Extract I use – Nielsen-Massey

4 Large Free Range Eggs

300g/11oz Plain White Flour

4tsp Baking Powder

100g/4oz Ground Almonds

225g/8oz Sultanas

200g/7oz Raisins

200g/7oz Glacé Cherries cut half of the cherries in half and leave the remaining whole

1 Whole Lemon – scrubbed with a nail brush under hot water

2-3tbsps Sherry – alternatively replace with full fat milk

75g/3oz Whole Blanched Almonds

Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3

A 20cm/8″ diameter 10cm/4″ deep round cake tin is needed for this bake. Grease the tin with butter and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment. The sides of the parchment should be above the top of the tin by 3-4 inches. Cut a spare circle of parchment that fits the base. This may be used later to stop the cake from browning too quickly on the top.

  • First sift the flour together with the baking powder into a spare bowl.
  • Next in a large bowl add the softened butter, sugar and salt. Whisk these together until they are pale and creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract, 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of sifted flour. Whisk for 30 seconds until just incorporated.
  • Repeat this process, adding an egg and 1 tablespoon of flour, whisking to mix, until all the eggs have been added.
  • Now add the remaining flour and ground almonds. Then add the sultanas, raisins and glacé cherries.
  • Grate the zest of the lemon directly into the bowl and then add its juice.
  • Finally add 2 tablespoons of sherry, or milk and using a large spoon fold all the ingredients together, adding another tablespoon of sherry/milk if the batter is too thick.
  • Spoon the lemon/sherry flavoured cake batter into the parchment lined cake tin, smoothing the top so that it is flat.
  • Decorate the top of the cake with 3 rings of blanched almonds – see the photos for guidance. Tip – lay the almonds flat on to the cake batter surface. I pushed them in a little and a couple were enveloped by the cake batter whilst baking.
FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Making the cake batter, filling the tin and decorating with almonds.
  • Place an ovenproof dish of water on the shelf underneath the middle shelf in the oven. This should ensure a flat, even top as the cake bakes.
  • Next put your cake tin into the middle of the oven and bake for 2 – 3 hours.
  • Check the cake after 1.5 hours baking. If the top is already golden, then place the spare circle of baking parchment on top of the cake. Because the cake still has a while to bake, this should stop the top from burning.
  • Once 2 hours baking time has elapsed, check to see if the cake is baked by inserting a skewer. The cake is baked when the removed skewer is clean. Should it have cake batter on it, the cake is not fully baked and needs more time in the oven.
  • Continue checking the cake at 15 minute intervals. As soon as the skewer comes out clean the cake is fully baked and can be removed from the oven.
  • Place the cake tin on a trivet or cooling rack and allow the cake to cool completely in the tin.
  • Leaving the cake to cool overnight is ideal.
  • When the cake is completely cooled turn it out from the tin and then carefully remove the baking parchment from the base and the sides.
  • Since this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake is such a beautiful cake, placing it on a cake stand really does show it off.
FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake a beautifully baked fruit cake.

Serve the cake with a cup of tea, or a glass of something bubbly.

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake each bite is a celebration of good home baking.

Homemade cake is far superior in both taste and texture when compared to mass produced, shop bought alternatives. Any celebration, whether a birthday, anniversary, or family get together, will be richly enhanced, with the addition of a home baked cake.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake then you may also like these:

Raspberry Almond Cream Cake

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Raspberry Almond Cream Cake made to see in the New Year.

Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Fluted Chocolate Lemon Marble Cake made to celebrate Father’s Day

Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

FF Dundee Fruit Celebration Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake made to celebrate my love of carrot cake!

While I enjoy baking cakes, getting together with family and friends is always a celebration when cake is present. Catching up over a slice of cake and a cup of tea can turn any event into a celebration, even if it is simply sharing with a neighbour.

Most of all, my long held belief that food shared, not only tastes better, it also somehow enriches the experience of eating. As a result our lives are made richer, purely by eating with others. A simple concept that can easily be achieved.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

 

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Snowy Black Forest Roulade

Gluten Free – Snowy Black Forest Roulade, kirsch whipped cream and cherries rolled into an elegant dessert that is topped with chocolate trees.

Joining in with the #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong has, so far, proved to be a lot of fun. The challenges stretch my baking skills and my creativity. Wanting to create a gluten free bake that more people can make and enjoy, I came up with this Snowy Black Forest Roulade.

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Snowy Black Forest Roulade kirsch whipped cream and cherries all rolled up together.

While never having made a gluten free genoise sponge before, I had to try. Genoise sponges are made without the use of any type of fat. Generally they are made from eggs and sugar, whipped until at least tripled in size, with flour folded in at the end. When folding in the flour, extra care is taken to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Snowy Black Forest Roulade with hand piped chocolate chocolate trees.

Knowing that cocoa can have a drying effect on the taste of the sponge, I also wondered if the cake would hold up to being rolled. A good sponge roulade should withstand rolling, without cracking. The possibilities of just how wrong this sponge could go, seemed endless. Maybe this bake would fail. The only way to know, was to try.

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Snowy Black Forest Roulade an elegant dessert.

So, the gluten free chocolate genoise sponge was made and baked. As you can see from the photos, it did indeed roll, without cracking and the flavour is utterly delicious. Light, soft, chocolate sponge, filled with kirsch flavoured whipped cream and soft, sweet cherries. One mouthful of this Snowy Black Forest Roulade and I was completly lost in one of my favourite flavour combinations.

Since nobody could tell that it was gluten free, I took that as a positive sign. Having baked quite a few gluten free recipes, on occasion I have found them to have a slight gritty texture. Not this luscious dessert. Soft, yielding sponge, that tastes just like a sponge should. As a result of this bake I have plans to make another gluten rolled sponge, that is simply flavoured with vanilla or lemon.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating! When plates and bowls are left empty, I am satisfied that whatever I have made is a hit. Our children can be brutally honest, especially Snugs, our youngest daughter. She scored this Snowy Black Forest Roulade at 9 out of 10. Another success for the Feasting kitchen.

Recipe: Snowy Black Forest Roulade

1tbsp Unsalted Butter

4 Large Free Range Eggs

80g Caster Sugar

50g Gluten Free Plain White Flour – I use Doves Farm

50g Cocoa Powder plus an extra 2tbsp – I use Callebaut

1tsp Baking Powder – I use Waitrose as it is gluten free

Small Pinch of Salt – I use Maldon

300ml Double Cream

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey

4tsp Icing Sugar

1 Tin Cherry Pie Filling

Optional 2tbsp Kirsch Liquer

100g Dark Chocolate

50g White Chocolate

Optional – White Edible Glitter

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4

Note: To bake the sponge for this Snowy Black Forest Roulade you will need a baking tray that measures 38cm x 25cm x 3cm (15″ x 10″ x 1″).

  • First, grease the baking tray with butter and line the base with baking parchment.
  • Sift the gluten free flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  • Next, in a large bowl, or if you have a stand mixer use the bowl with the whisk attachment, add the sugar and eggs. Whisk continuously for at least 5 minutes, until the egg/sugar mixture has more than tripled in size. The mixture will be a pale cream colour that is very light and airy. It should leave a ribbon trail, that lasts a few seconds, after you remove the whisk.
  • Tip the sifted ingredients into the whisked egg mixture and using a large metal spoon, carefully fold the sifted ingredients in. The aim is to retain as much air within the finished cake batter as possible.
  • Once the ingredients are completely combined pour the mixture in to the prepared baking tray. Use a palette knife to ensure that the cake batter is evenly spread, ensuring that it reaches all of the corners.
FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Making the sponge batter and filling the baking tray.
  • Now place the baking tray into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • To test if the sponge is baked press lightly in the centre, when baked the sponge will spring back. Note – be careful not to over bake as this will cause the sponge to be dry and it will then be harder to roll without cracking.
  • Finally, when the sponge is baked, remove it from the oven.
  • Next, allow the sponge to cool in the tin for 2 minutes.
  • While the sponge is cooling, lay a large, just bigger than the sponge, piece of baking parchment on the work top.
  • Dust the baking parchment with the extra 2 tablespoons of cocoa, so that it is evenly covered.
  • Now run a palette knife around the edge of the sponge and then turn it out on to the baking parchment.
  • Very carefully remove the parchment that lined the baking tray.
  • Starting at one side and using the baking parchment to help, gently roll the sponge, while it is still warm.
  • Once rolled, set to one side until completely cooled.
FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Please use baking parchment, my brain wasn’t working and I used a pastry mat. It worked absolutely fine but next time I will turn the sponge out on to parchment!

Making the Chocolate Trees:

  • While waiting for the sponge to cool, the chocolate trees can be made.
  • First you will need 2 small disposable piping bags to pipe the trees with.
  • Next break up both types of chocolate and place in heatproof, microwaveable bowls.
  • Heat the chocolate, individually, on medium until it has started to melt.
  • Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir until the chocolate has completely melted.
  • Now fill each piping bag with melted chocolate. Leave the chocolate to cool, until it is still liquid, yet warm, not hot, in the piping bag. As a result of leaving the chocolate to cool, it will be thicker and easier to control whilst piping the trees.
  • Starting with the dark chocolate, pipe tree shapes on to a non stick silicone mat, or baking parchment. The trees should be about 3 inches (7.5cm) high, please see the photo below.
FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Pipe the main trunk down then up and then pipe the branches.
  • Allow the dark chocolate to set and then pipe white chocolate on the top of each branch. Leave the trees to completely set before attempting to remove them.
  • It is inevitable that some trees will break as they are removed. This is great as most forest floors have fallen/broken branches on them. So they can be used to add further decoration to the roulade.

Filling and decorating the Roulade:

  • In a large bowl add the cream, vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of Kirsch and 2 teaspoons of sifted icing sugar – a tea strainer is handy for sifting small amounts.
  • Whisk the cream until it just holds a stiff peak.
  • Unroll the chocolate sponge and then, using a palette knife, spread half of the cream over the sponge.
  • Decant the cherry pie filling into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of kirsch and stir to mix.
  • Next, using a spoon, place cherries evenly across the sponge, then spoon the syrup in between the cherries.
  • Using the baking parchment roll the sponge into it a log, finishing with the seam underneath.
  • Transfer the Roulade to a suitable plate.
  • Fit a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, then fill the bag with the remaining whipped cream.
  • Pipe single flower stars along the top of the Roulade and then along the sides.
FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Building, rolling and piping the Roulade.
  • To finish the decoration, carefully peel the piped chocolate trees away from the non stick surface.
  • Place the trees evenly along the top of the Roulade, pushing them into the piped cream.
  • Use any broken tree parts as forest floor decorations, anchoring them to the roulade with the piped cream.
  • Finally finish the dessert by sifting icing sugar snow over the Roulade, sprinkling edible glitter for added sparkle!
FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Snowy Black Forest Roulade beautifully dusted with icing sugar snow.

Serve sliced with a smile!

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Snowy Black Forest Roulade an elegant, incredibly tasty dessert or afternoon tea treat.

All the flavour of a Black Forest Gateaux rolled into a stunning Snowy Black Forest Roulade that is completely gluten free. A dessert that can be enjoyed by more people, without any loss of taste, texture or quality.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for this Snowy Black Forest Roulade here are some other gluten free recipes you may enjoy:

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes gluten free.

Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Raspberry Chocolate Pavlova gluten free.

Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade
Strawberry Whipped Cream Giant Doughnut gluten free.

Gluten free recipes can taste just as great as their regular, wheat based counterparts. Creating recipes that can be made and eaten by people on a restricted diet, is an important part of Feasting is Fun. So you can look forward to more recipes being added, especially with Christmas not very far away.

When a recipe tastes as good as this Snowy Black Forest Roulade, there is no need to bake separate desserts. That has to be a good thing, for both those on a restricted diet and the cook!

Enjoy making, baking and creating in your own kitchens.

Sammie xx

I am submitting this Snowy Black Forest Roulade to October’s We Should Cocoa over at Tin and Thyme

FF Snowy Black Forest Roulade

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